By Yazid Yolisigira
Four Kenyan pilgrims have died while four others sustained injuries after a commuter taxi whose driver lost control rammed into them at Bugodi Village along the Iganga-Jinja highway on Sunday morning.
The officer-in-charge of traffic at Magamaga Police Station, Ms Beatrice Apiny says the taxi registration number UBD 680W rammed into the pilgrims, killing Joselyn Wanjala and Sarah Ajambo on spot, while Pelivin Malinde and Geofrey Ogaga were pronounced dead on arrival at Iganga Hospital.
She added that after ramming into the pilgrims, the vehicle lost control, crossed the road and came to a halt in a nearby banana plantation.
“All the deceased were pilgrims from Bungoma, North Kenya”, said Ms Apiny.
The group, comprising of about 100 pilgrims, are said to have started walking from Lakiri Catholic Parish in Bungoma Diocese on May 15.
Those seeking treatment at Iganga Hospital include John Okoth, Joseph Lusenyu, KelvinAkira and Gladesi Eduti.
Ms Apinyi attributed the accident to reckless driving by the taxi driver who is on the run.“He was speeding yet it was still dark and raining,” Ms Apiny told reporters.
Mr Peter Asota, who led the pilgrims from Bungoma Diocese, said that the accident was intentional.
“We were walking on the side of the road with two reflecting Kenyan flags hoisted up; he saw us because we were knocked from a road reserve,” Mr Asota, overcome by emotions, said.
Asked whether they would proceed to Namugongo, Mr Asota said that they will ‘most definitely’ reach the martyrs’ shrine for prayers.
The reason why we can’t stop here is because we need to fulfill the desire of our hearts like the Uganda martyrs did,” he said, adding that among other things they are going to pray for, is for East African countries to have peace.
“We are going to pray for peace in our country, in South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi,” he said.